WILLIAM TO>? HT7MBOLBT. 255 care. But Humboldt would probably have been as great without this eare? for the love of self-improve- ment was one of the strongest impulses of his soul. His mind was open to all impressions, and the only requirement of such a mind was to begin and end his life in a period of progress and of great events., and this also fell to Humboldt's lot. Having formed his taste and judgment by the study of the ancients, he became the intimate friend and adviser of the two great pillars of German literature, Schiller and Goethe, and although he never produced such brilliant works, Ms name must be intimately blended with theirs, from the influence he exercised on the opinions and the productions of these two great German poets. The revival of philosophical science by Kant also took place during the youthful years of Hnmboldt^s life. This new system made a great impression upon Mm at a very early period, and he adopted it in tlie strictest sense of the word. It remained the basis of his thought, and served him as a guide, even when he went beyond it. He is justly counted among those who extended the boundaries of this system of philo- sophy, partly by the aesthetic researches which he pro- secuted in conjunction with Schiller, partly by the establishment of a philosophy of language which we owe to his studies in this direction. In political life, also, his star did not desert him, but permitted him to take part in the so urgently required re-organization of the fatherland, in conjunction with the most honoured names of the age., and to quit this sphere at the right moment., when nothing more could be expected but loss of the achieved honour and reputa- tion. And in the leisure moments of Ms old age he devoted himself to linguistic and comparative re- searches, and became as great and important on this field as his brother is on the field of natural history. Humboldt's character is mirrored in the .choice of Ms friends and in Ms friendships; the highest, greatest., and noblest minds were intimately allied with him.